Activity Report September 22 – September 28


The College of Arts and Sciences was happy to host special guests from the Autonomous University of Chihuahua. School of Arts Dean Roberto L. Ransom Carty and Professor Jorge Flores met with various departments in the college and International Border Programs to discuss possible exchange programs for our students.


NMSU College of Arts and Sciences Dean Pontelli road-tripped with the NMSU Foundation’s Mark Gladden to see esteemed professors and alumni along the East coast.


The College of Arts and Sciences hosted our all Dean’s Council Meeting. Thank you to President John Floros for meeting with our board members and discussing the future of NMSU!

Faculty and Staff from the College of Arts and Sciences have been on the road recruiting for the New Mexico Education College Days the past few weeks. They have visited with over 20 high schools all over NM to promote NMSU and the college.

This week is the American Library Association banned books week. ALA condemns censorship and works to ensure free access to information. Every year, the Office for Intellectual Freedom complies a list of the top ten most challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools. NMSU Library staff Dr. John Sandstrom was a Banned Book Read-Out Participant at the 2018 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference. He read the banned book “Animal Farm” by George Orwell.

Wild about Flowers    Grounds is collaborating with Plant and Environmental Sciences to grow winter flowers that will be planted on campus this fall.  Dr. Picchioni’s Plant Propagation class grew the plants in the Skeen Hall greenhouses and asked if his students could participate with planting the flowers to see the fruits of their class work.  Facilities and Services is always looking for opportunities to provide learning experiences for the students.  The students and Grounds personnel will begin planting the flowers in October and anticipate completing the projects by the end of October.

The Study Abroad Ambassador Club took 24 International Students to the Otero Country Fair and to White Sands National Monument.  While at the Otero County Fair, Mathis Le Moullec, an Agribusiness exchange student from UniLaSalle Beauvais in France, gave an interview on the local radio station talking about his experiences so far at NMSU.  After the group had its fill of fried foods and carnival rides, they  headed to White Sands National Monument for fun on the dunes.  The Study Abroad Ambassadors Club is an NMSU student organization tasked with helping exchange students and other international student adapt to  NMSU  and to life in the U.S.

News and Media Relations    News and Media Relations reached an audience of more than 23,500 this week via the NMSU Facebook page. Leading the week’s results was a post about five students who will spend the fall semester at Google. The NMSU computer science students are among just 65 students and five faculty members from across the country participating in Google’s Tech Exchange program. The post reached more than 2,600 people and generated more than 330 reactions, comments and shares.

From left: NMSU Deputy Provost Greg Fant joins NMSU students Arianna Martinez, Vensan Cabardo, Kay Sweebe, Marco Salazar and Jacob Espinoza for a photo at Google Tech Exchange launch in San Francisco. (Photo courtesy Google)


Several NMDA employees gave presentations to middle and high school students at the Southern New Mexico State Fair STEM Ag Career Fair Day Friday.

95 Students Earn the Wynne Scholarship    Through the $2.5 million Jon Wynne Endowment at the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico, 95 scholarships were awarded this week to NMSU Doña Ana students for the 2018 fall semester. The disbursement of $45,000 in scholarships was matched by scholarship funds from NMSU Doña Ana. Donors have been generous over the past several years, including nine new scholarships that have been added over the last year.

DACC Golf Tourney Slated    The NMSU Doña Ana 16th annual golf tournament will be held at the NMSU Golf Course on Friday, October 12. Teams are almost maxed out at 30 teams. 7Seven scholarships will be awarded to students and matched with the Wynne endowment. This tourney helps celebrate the 45th anniversary of NMSU Doña Ana and includes students from throughout the college assisting and helping participants including culinary arts students who provides breakfast for the golfers.

Outstanding Alumni Selected    NMSU Doña Ana will celebrate outstanding alumni next Saturday at a luncheon held in their honor at the East Mesa Student Resources Commons area. Alumni include a successful business owner who hires NMSU Doña Ana students, a museum curator, the president of a national professional society and an outstanding employee at a local business.

Aggie Pathway advisor Rafael Delgado was on the NMSU-Alamogordo campus on September 27. He met with students who will be heading over to NMSU main campus in the near future. Rafael’s visit will ensure that the students who met with him will transition from one campus to another more smoothly.

Approximately 15 NMSU-Alamogordo faculty and staff members traveled to NMSU Carlsbad for the 2018 Community College Round-Up being held on Friday, September 28 and Saturday, September 29. This year’s theme was “Down to Earth, New Challenges and New Changes.” This was a great opportunity to interact with colleagues and to exchange information.


NM WRRI issued the September 2018 edition of the New Mexico Water eNews. The newsletter included an announcement of the upcoming 63rd Annual New Mexico Water Conference, which will take place at the Las Cruces Convention Center on Oct. 17-18. The newsletter also includes a couple of articles highlighting student water research including an article on NMSU Water Science & Management doctoral student Khandaker Iftekharul Islam. Iftehkarul is studying the effects of anticipated climate change on the hydrology of watersheds. Read about the project and learn about other important water information by viewing the New Mexico Water eNews here.

NM WRRI staff Dr. Sam Fernald, Bernadette Fontenelle, and Connie Maxwell traveled to Santa Fe this week to attend a Drought Task Force meeting where they gave a presentation. Subsequently, they attended a one-day workshop in Albuquerque devoted to updating the state’s drought plan.

Foster Innovation Exchange Press Release    On any given day, Richard Guadalupe McDonald, a Las Cruces biomedical researcher and former Army captain, has dozens of ideas for new and life-changing technologies running around his head. Most recently, he’s been focused on a small device that he hopes will save military and civilian lives by providing a safer way to enhance visibility under dangerous conditions.The only problem? Creating a prototype through the private sector to show to potential investors or other scientists for collaboration would cost at least $15,000 to $25,000, he estimates.“I’m not Boeing,” McDonald said. “I can’t spend that much on each iteration of a prototype for this project.” That’s where an initiative that rolled out last fall at Arrowhead Center, the entrepreneurship and innovation hub at New Mexico State University, comes in. Known as the Foster Innovation Exchange, or FIX, the initiative is funded by a $1 million gift in 2017 from Paul and Alejandra De La Vega Foster of El Paso, given as part of NMSU’s $125 million Ignite Aggie Discovery fundraising campaign. Read the full story at

Tech Match Press Release    Trashard Mays, a graduate student at New Mexico State University, is using valuable resources provided by Arrowhead Center at NMSU to commercialize vacuum technology developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory that solves a problem scientists and technicians have grappled with for years.Through its TechMatch program, Arrowhead Center is working to match aspiring entrepreneurs with technologies and creative works that are available to commercialize, and provides access to inventions and technologies developed in New Mexico. TechMatch is an initiative funded by a U.S. Economic Development Administration i6 Challenge grant that supports Arrowhead’s Next Generation Entrepreneurship program. Read the full story at


International and Border Programs, Arrowhead Center, and the Colleges of Engineering and Arts & Sciences represented NMSU at the first Border Market Tech expo in Juarez, Mexico.  Mark Gladden, development officer for the NMSU College of Engineering, gave a keynote address at the event, “Distributed Innovation: Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies and ICO Funding.” The two-day event was packed with visitors and exhibitors from across Mexico, ranging from one-person startups to globally known brands.  NMSU was the only New Mexico university exhibiting at the expo and received hundreds of expressions of interest about enrolling or collaborating.

KRWG Public Media staff and volunteers kicked off our Fall Membership Drive on Saturday by broadcasting live from the Las Cruces Farmers Market from 8-10 a.m. Viewers and listeners stopped by to chat with our on-air announcers and staff to discuss the programming we provide to southwest New Mexico and far west Texas.

KRWG Public Media hosted “Election 2018 Forum: New Mexico Secretary Auditor.” KRWG has partnered with the League of Women Voters of Greater Las Cruces to host a variety of forums in advance of the November election. The forums are broadcast on KRWG-TV and are featured online at and on the KRWG News YouTube channel. Segments from the forums are included in newscasts on KRWG-FM.

NMDA Director Jeff Witte had breakfast with the Cuban president to discuss trade relations between the US and Cuba. There is much interest to lift the embargoes in Cuba, expand trade, and develop opportunities to increase production capacity and knowledge for production agriculture in Cuba.

New Mexico Department of Agriculture Director Jeff M. Witte with President Diaz-Canel of Cuba.

NMDA Director Jeff Witte joined U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue while he rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. Representatives of all aspects of agriculture surrounded Secretary Perdue while he recognized farmers, ranchers, foresters and agricultural producers across America who contribute to the American economy.

NMDA Staff escorted a consultant to five farms in Moriarty, Portales, Las Cruces, and Hatch to look at putting in field trials of barley for beer malting production. Farmers will be planting spring trials to determine varieties acceptable for malting.

NM FAST Workshop    On Wednesday, Arrowhead’s NM FAST team held a webinar on “Funding your Innovation.” This webinar provided an overview of the SBIR/STTR programs, the NM FAST program, and the importance of commercialization and commercial potential. NM FAST hosts several workshops throughout the year, across the state of New Mexico and keeps a video archive of tutorials for SBIR/STTR application processes on their YouTube page. See a recording of this webinar and other tutorials at



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